I got what will be the next-to-last issue of Memory Makers Magazine in the mail today, the July/August 2009 issue. A look through it is telling about the reason F+W Media pulled the plug on it – and also makes me really sad that the magazine is going.
A survey of the advertising in it shows that their advertising situation was little improved over previous issues – only 18% of the pages were paid advertising. They’d been hovering around 15% the past few issues, a long way from the 40% most of the publications need to be healthy. Addicted to Scrapbooking had bought four pages, a large advertising buy even for them, suggesting they’d been offered a discount to fill space. There just didn’t seem to be much upward trending in the magazine’s advertising sales, unfortunately, as has been the case for so many publications in so many industries recently.
What struck me the most, however, is the amazing quality of this issue, especially given that the editorial staff probably had to fill about 10 more pages than they would have if the magazine were financially healthy. The content is stellar and never feels like “filler” or “padding”.
This magazine had been steadily improving since it’s revamp in 2006. It has really achieved excellence with its last few issues. Unfortunately, it was too little too late for a publication competing in such a challenging and shifting marketplace. It’s sad to see it go just when it really seems to have hit its stride.